When Jesus was trying to prepare his disciples for his death, he explained that the Father himself loved them because they had loved him, and that he was shortly going to leave the world and go back to the Father. This drew a strong declaration of belief from the disciples, “Now we can see that you know all things…..this makes us believe that you came from God.”
But Jesus told them that nevertheless, in fear, they would desert and deny him, and as John tells us in ch.16:32 “A time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone.” The disciples had faith, but not enough to stand firm in the face of what would appear complete disaster! But do you see the amazing truth – Jesus knew they would fail. In fact their failings and ours are the reason he would need to go to the cross. He wasn’t expecting to build his church on people’s strengths, but on God’s ability to use people even after they’ve failed.
Isn’t this incredible news: no wonder it’s called GOOD News! When we have a wobble and fall, it doesn’t catch Jesus unawares; it isn’t a sudden and debilitating disappointment that will unseat the Godhead, and remove his/their love from us forever – but this is how we act sometimes isn’t it?
As Jeth reminded us so powerfully last week, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Rom.5:8 Or as The Message puts it “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
And this goes on going on – that lovingly spilled blood goes on cleansing us from every failure and fall and betrayal. And he knows each one of them, is not phased or thrown off course by it, and has in fact made full provision for our complete restoration.
Knowing everything, Jesus still loves us – and has plans for us “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph.2:10
Hurray and Hallelujah!